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REDRUM ROAD – ROUND ONE – SKIP TO A PAGE
COME TOGETHER ⎔ SOMETHING ⎔ MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER ⎔ OH! DARLING ⎔ OCTOPUS’S GARDEN ⎔ I WANT YOU ⎔ HERE COMES THE SUN ⎔ BECAUSE ⎔ YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY ⎔ SUN KING ⎔ MEAN MR. MUSTARD ⎔ POLYTHENE PAM ⎔ SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW ⎔ GOLDEN SLUMBERS ⎔ CARRY THAT WEIGHT ⎔ THE END
ROUND TWO START ⎔ ROUND THREE START ⎔ SPECIAL: STORY ROOM
- Right on the opening drums we cut to Jack typing, and the notion of “Carry That Weight” feels quite apt here. The song is thought to be a hard-hearted but sober reflection on the fact that none of the Beatles would ever be able to match their prior fame in the aftermath of their dissolution. Jack presents two halves in the film, and while we can point to all the clues that say he was always damned, and whatnot, that doesn’t preclude the fact that before we see him at the typewriter here, he seems normal enough. He’s bashful when Wendy dances in the gold room, he makes silly noises over breakfast in bed, he wryly derides television and relishes in the ghoulishness of cannibalism, he flashes what King describes as Jack’s “PR smile” at Watson and Ullman relentlessly, and so on. These aren’t the behaviours of a psychopath. The psycho business really starts here, at the typewriter, hammering out the same small sentence over and over. Jack’s attempt at artistic greatness cannot top his prior humanity.
- There’s a piano roll here that matches perfectly with the vibrating dog in the cartoon behind Durkin. A very cute moment.
- A brass rendition of You Never Give Me Your Money happens as Wendy walks up and kisses Jack. Recall that that song played across the entire(!) sequence of Jack stalking Wendy about the lounge earlier. Also, note Wendy’s red galoshes here, that look like Polythene Pam’s jackboots.
- Also, the brass section has a very siren-like sound to it, high and wailing. And next to Durkin on his counter is a magazine with the words “SIRENS — LIGHTS” on the cover, along with images of fire trucks and helicopters.
- Also, Willene Barton was a famous saxophonist, and here we’re hearing the album’s brassiest moment.
- Again, RE: Irene Reid. Her album’s(?) last appearance (before the second half) here is one minute before the end of this track. It would’ve been neater if it had been on screen for The End, perhaps, since Two of Us would be the next song any Beatles fan would’ve heard after Abbey Road‘s final track.
- “And in the middle of the celebrations/I break down” – On “break down”, grouchy Jack is reacting to being called “grouchy”, departing from his weak attempts at masking his grouchiness.
- “Boy/You’re gonna carry that weight” – Jack has just exploded a little about wanting to finish his work, but he’s trying to rein it back in. All across this line, the plane is flying backwards over his head, as if suggesting the weight lifting from Jack’s struggle to contain himself.
- Incidentally, the brassy refrain gives this moment a feeling like a commercial for the queen’s private airline, or something.
- We hear that line repeated, and we get this image of Wendy standing inside what looks like an Arapahoe flag, as discussed in the indigenous section. This is overlaid with the Navajo fireplace mural, and this overlay almost perfectly recreates the shot of her right before finding the All Work pages, when she holds an American slugger up to the same mural. Wendy’s naiveté, then, perfectly reflects the obliviousness with which some Americans regard the genocide of the indigenous peoples of modern day America. They can stand in the shadow of all the evidence, they can stand in the flag itself, and still not see what happened. And when they get an inkling of the truth, they grab and defend themselves with a symbol of their pride in America (like this Louisville slugger, for instance). Jack says he just wants to able to “finish [his] work”, and Wendy says, “Okay. I understand!” But what does Jack’s work turn out to be? Murder. So Wendy didn’t understand. And she’s gonna carry that weight a long time, like a crown of iron.
- Also, how cool is it that this song starts and ends with a shot of Jack in the lounge, writing, seen from behind? That’s pretty impeccable.
Click here to continue on to Redrum Road: The End – Round 1
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